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Chris Huhne should admit the energy market has failed and fix it


11:15 am - June 13th 2011

by Adam Ramsay    


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Chris Huhne was in the papers yesterday encouraging consumers to punish energy companies for putting their bills up. That’s Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy.

Apparently this is Mr Huhne ‘intervening dramatically’. By, er, giving an interview to a newspaper. He tells the Observer that we shouldn’t accepted the current rise in prices ‘lying down’. So he has bravely stood up and, um, done essentially nothing about it.

We might have thought that the person chosen democratically(ish) to oversee energy in the country may have some kind of control when he believes that companies are charging more than they should. But, no.

We long gave up on these ‘crazy socialist’ ideas. Instead we decided that the market should set these things. Because the market ‘always gets prices right’.

But, um, if the market always gets prices right, then why does the Secretary of State for Energy have to go to the press in order to encourage people to switch energy companies? Surely we would do that anyway if we were the simple rational agents that neo-liberal economics tells us we are?

No, what Chris Huhne is accepting is that we are not simple rational agents. He is accepting that we are influenced by things other than price – including, he seems to think, by him prompting us to remember that we can switch.

But if he thinks that, surely he has to accept that we are influenced by other things more broadly? Like, say, energy company adverts? Or, the fact that it’s a real pain to switch? And, more to the point, to whom, precisely, are we supposed to switch. As the Observer says:

At least one of the other so-called “big six” energy companies is understood to be preparing to announce a significant price increase in the coming days, and the rest are likely to follow over the next few weeks.

But if people are already bewildered by the complexity of switching between 6 potential companies, why does he think we’ll be more likely to switch between more? The pain of doing it (the ‘transaction cost’) is, it seems, too high for many, especially when most companies charge roughly the same.

It’s a classic example of a liberal paradox. A government minister believes a market has failed. He believes that, at once, he isn’t powerful enough to tell 6 companies to cut their prices, and is powerful enough to tell 25 million households to switch company.

This is la la land economics. Fuel prices are, quite simply, not going to fall because Chris Huhne gave an interview to the Observer saying people should switch supplier more often. If there’s a problem (and, yes, there is) then he needs to understand that it isn’t the job of the government to commentate. It’s the job of the government to fix.

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Adam is a regular contributor. He also writes more frequently at: Bright Green Scotland.
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Reader comments


Alternatively, “domestic fuel prices are high because feed prices are rightly high, reflecting both CO2 pricing and the increasing scarcity in fossil fuel; the market is performing correctly; people should quit whining and use less energy; and Chris Huhne is berating the companies who’re actually doing a perfectly decent job because that’s what politicians do when inconvenient facts of life imposes unpopular things on the great unwashed”.

By the way, that’s the correct answer.

If we’re seriously worried about people freezing to death because an extra fiver on the heating will bankrupt them, we should raise benefits to the level where people can afford for that not to happen, rather than keep the price of energy artificially low.

We might have thought that the person chosen democratically(ish) to oversee energy in the country may have some kind of control when he believes that companies are charging more than they should. But, no.

I know DC is starting to garner some comparisons with Edward Heath, but I suspect that he’s quite a way off from re-creating the Prices & Incomes Board of Control.

Could Chris Huhne be the future face of Go Compare? After all, stranger things have happened.

4. Luis Enrique

Jesus suffering Christ, can this be the same Adam Ramsey who urged universities to take the lead on energy usage?

There’s a quote by the famous environmental economics William Nordhaus, which I cannot find, along the lines of anybody who wants to combat climate change but does not want to increase the price of carbon based energy just isn’t serious.

Are you somebody who likes to talk about how markets fail because they do not take into account externalities? Here’s a quiz – if prices did account for environmental externalities, would the price of energy go up or down? [1]

You sneer at the idea markets get the prices right. What is the right price for energy in a world where energy demands are growing rapidly and stocks of fuel are shrinking? Do you even f-cking know what “getting the price right” means?

Here’s another quiz. Right now, what signal would the “right” price be sending:

1. quick! invest in energy infrastructure prices, energy-saving technology, reduce energy use! Hey, these solar plants are starting to look relatively cheap, maybe we should use them!

2. no problems, no need need to invest – here, have as much oil as you like, it’s cheap and plentiful!

also I think neo-liberal economists are smart enough to figure out that rational agents won’t bother switching suppliers if the cost of doing so (including hassle) is too high, for crying out load.

I agree that a politician just telling people to switch is just hot air, I don’t think that markets really do get prices right all the time

If you are worried about the distributional impact of high fuel prices, tax the fuck out of it and rebate to poor households for heating.

[1] Tim W, I do not agree that carbon prices already adequately reflect environmental costs, which means I am disagreeing with whomever you are going to cite – was it Stern?

5. Daz Pearce

The real issue is the concept of competition isn’t always possible depending on where you live. Like the rail privatisation, the execution of this one was the major issue.

Can someone confirm if these ‘private’ companies are still getting public subsidies as well?

http://outspokenrabbit.blogspot.com/

There have been several articles about the problems with the “spot price” marketisation model the UK adopted to make gas supplies “efficient”. One I can find readily is here.

You can also point a finger at successive governments refusal to impose energy efficiency standards on housing that would have reduced household bills considerably.

However, your other responders are entirely correct in pointing out that our economy is no longer compliant with “infinite earth” models of energy supply. If we want fuel bills to fall, we’re gonna have to stop relying on fossil fuels, and for that to happen quickly, we should have started decades ago. Even so, 1997 would still have been nice and it’s not as if that Labour government weren’t fully aware of what was coming. It’s just that, like their predecessors, They preferred to do what was quick easy rather than what was necessary and long term.

Bit surprised you didn’t quote this bit:

“In a further attempt to ease pressure on prices by increasing competition, the energy secretary will this week announce new measures to make it easier for smaller companies to compete in the market by easing the costs and red tape that prevent them from doing so. Around 99% of people currently get their energy from one of the big six. “Right now, only one in five people switch suppliers. I want to see more switching, more competition and more companies in the market,” Huhne said. “The big six only have a few minnows snapping at them, who are kept artificially small. By scrapping red tape for small players they can become serious challengers and help keep bills down.””

It’s almost as though he admitted that the energy market wasn’t working and wanted to fix it.

You know, the thing you put in the header of your article.

The whole myth of ‘consumer choice’ is exploded the moment you look at the domestic energy ‘market’.

Company ‘A’ announces hefty rises in its prices. They know that:

a) 80%+ of their customers won’t switch because the process of switching is over-complex and prone to screwing up anyway, and so most of their customer base is going to stay whatever,
b) Company ‘B’ (to whom, let us say, most of the remaning 20%- switch) will announce a few weeks later that they too will be raising their prices (by, say, 1% less than company ‘A’). Those who switched to company ‘B’ will then be nearly as badly off as they were had they not gone through the rigmarole of switching,
c) Some of those who went from ‘A’ to ‘B’ will then go to company ‘C’ which will tie them in to a long-term contract and then increase their prices by the same amount as (or 2-4% higher than) companies ‘A’ and ‘B’,
d) Those who are sufficiently annoyed with this to try to break their contract with company ‘C’ will then (if they succeed), end up back with companies ‘A’ or ‘B’,
e) Rinse and repeat.

The energy companies are operating what is, de facto if not de jure a cartel, and because we have been sufficiently ‘enlightened’ since the says of ‘Sid’ that any attempt to control those companies’ behaviour is akin to advocating child molestation on the rates, nothing gets done except that posturing tools like Huhne speed into print to make it look as if they’re ‘doing something’. The poor saps of ‘consumers’ who have all this wonderful ‘choice’ end up being shafted anyway.

The provision of basic services for a developed, civilised society (energy, water, health care, etc.) should never be handed over to the market; when they are, it is the ‘consumer’ who pays the price and the executives and shareholders who walk away with the benefit.

WELL SAID, LE! (Though the expletives were unnecessary, if understandable.) Adam Ramsey is mistaken. The only point for serious discussion is whether current carbon prices adequately reflect environmental costs! And any carbon-tax increase should be offset by judicious tax-reductions elsewhere to prevent adverse effects on carbon-intensive industries and mitigate the effect on consumers.

10. Luis Enrique

sorry Paul, got out of wrong side of bed this morning.

The ‘energy market’ only encourages consumption on the basis that ‘if I can afford it, I will use it’ and, ‘the cheaper it is, the more I’ll use’.

Britain is a hugely wasteful country in energy terms and government could encourage society to use less energy through raising standards of insulation to levels common in Scandanavian countries. Putting a punitive tax on airconditioning would be helpful in changing the culture of commercial building.

The problem that Government faces is that, in today’s ‘free market’, encouraging society to use/consume less will be seen as opposing the ‘free market’.

In this way we are condemned to years of shilly-shallying by Government on energy issues.

And, btw, the current, ‘green’-obsessed government (following the last not dissimilar government) is leading us down the pathway to grave energy shortages — and power cuts by c.2015. And all because ‘renewables’ play well with floating voters! Wind power ain’t going to meet our needs! And the energy-intensive manufacturing sector will simply move to France etc where energy is cheaper….We have to invest in nuclear now! (And I speak as one who campaigned against nuclear in the 70s/80s)

@12 Wasn’t switching to nuclear one of the reasons for the Forgemasters grant, which was then cancelled with great haste by the incoming conservative government in order to “save” money?

“Tim W, I do not agree that carbon prices already adequately reflect environmental costs, which means I am disagreeing with whomever you are going to cite – was it Stern?”

Then I’d suggest you don’t quote Nordhaus, who thinks that carbon taxes should start low (say, today, $10 a tonne) and ramp up to $250 a tonne by 2040.

“Surely we would do that anyway if we were the simple rational agents that neo-liberal economics tells us we are?

No, what Chris Huhne is accepting is that we are not simple rational agents. He is accepting that we are influenced by things other than price”

And where on earth did this stupidity come from? Are you really dim enough to think that the economic concept of “rationality” refers only to price?

Seriously?

It’s rational to take your hand off a hot stove: price doesn’t come into it. It’s rational for men to be interested in tits: they developed to get men interested in them after all. No one’s saying that that interest is solely to do with the price one pays to rent them from that nice girl on the corner.

Jeebus.

There are enough things we still don’t know in economics without people making political arguments out of misunderstanding the ones we already do.

Plus what Luis E said.

The markets don’t work when it comes to energy because of the cartel of the big six energy companies. They’re able to fix prices between them and they make it so onerous to change suppliers that people can’t switch to alternatives. That’s why the government’s currently looking at making it easier for people to switch suppliers.

But I suppose mentioning that would have given Adam Ramsey nothing to attack Huhne over and, after all, who wants to let facts get in the way of a chance to have a rant at a coalition minister?

Well said Luis Enrique. I’d also add that I’ve personally found it quite easy to switch suppliers – in fact I’ve been calling round them today.

@11

So I assume you’d like to see something like a home insulation roll out scheme where energy companies are forced to give customers loans to cover the cost of increasing the energy efficiency of their homes with that loan then being paid off by the customer’s energy bill savings with the loan remaining attached to the house rather than the owner?

Because if so then that’s exactly what the government will be doing from the start of next year. Funny that. It’s almost as if a lot of people commenting here don’t know the first thing about the government’s energy policy.

@7

Spot on.

@12. If we’re looking at serious energy shortages by 2015, then nuclear cannot form any part of the solution as, even assuming we don’t go through the decade long process of approval, it still takes an awful long time to build the damn things. Plus, given the problems that Finland & France have had, let alone Japan and the US, I’m really not sure I want to buy any reassurance from a politician about their long term safety.

You’re right, wind alone will not meet all our energy needs, but it can fill the energy gap far more quickly than nuclear. Also, there’s more to this green energy you dismiss than wind, but an ego-driven political infrastructure that prefers grand projects with press-laden ribbon cutting ceremonies is never going to look at the more distributed solutions that will address it.

As for energy hungry companies moving to France, I appreciate the irony that Electricite De France is more expensive here than there, but why was our electricity system sold to the French ? I don’t notice Scottish power owning their kit. However, all told, it’s a damn sight cheaper to move the electrons than plant, raw materials and skilled labour. But then again, everyone says we can’t tax the City cos they’ll run abroad, except somehow they never do

20. astateofdenmark

If Chris Huhne is concerned about energy prices going up, I have to wonder why he is pursuing policies that have the deliberate aim of increasing energy prices.

I can only conclude that he is not worried about rising energy prices, but, like all politicians, enjoys nothing more than a convenient scapegoat.

As others above have said, the alleged threat of us all dying in a CO2 induced fireball sometime just before the second coming means the government is deliberately increasing energy prices.

So yes, Huhne should be quiet about such price rises.

If people think energy prices are high in the UK, they will feel sorry for most of our fellow Europeans:

http://www.energy.eu/

As for Chris Huhne, he’s right (to an extent):

Audrey Gallagher (Consumer Focus) told us:

I do not think [consumers realise how much their bill is going to go up in the next decade]. To me, there does not appear to have been a huge amount of engagement on it, and it is not something that is immediately apparent. […] I would suggest that generally consumers are not tremendously engaged in energy. […] It is not something that people give a tremendous amount of thought to, so I do think we have to think about how we can engage consumers more on this and educate them more.

Electricity Market Reform – Energy and Climate Change Committee

What Tim and Luis said. Jesus, between what I said, what Luis said, and what Tim said, there’s fuck-all room left for owt.

Just quickly:

b) Company ‘B’ (to whom, let us say, most of the remaning 20%- switch) will announce a few weeks later that they too will be raising their prices (by, say, 1% less than company ‘A’). Those who switched to company ‘B’ will then be nearly as badly off as they were had they not gone through the rigmarole of switching,

This is why companies offer 24-month fixed-price plans, because *that’s the fecking point*. You’d be mental to switch without a price guarantee, so they provide them. Cheezers and Mary-Jane.

This particular subject drives me absolutely fruitloop. We all know we need to cut carbon. So of course fucking energy prices need to rise. If you’re denying that, you’re even more mental than the people who’re denying we need to cut carbon (who are denying a theory for which there is a lot of evidence, which is eccentric, rather than a logical truth, which is simply moronic).

Well said. Telling people to switch suppliers will result in close to nothing happening. One part of the impediment is actually trying to work out what each supplier charges – their websites invariably do not give a straight answer to cost / kWh.

The more I see and hear from Huhne, the less impressed I become.

~~~

12. paul ilc

> And all because ‘renewables’ play well with floating voters!

And not just floating voters – a broad spectrum of people understand the benefits and need for renewable energy.

> Wind power ain’t going to meet our needs!

Completely wrong.

* Two Terawatts average power output: the UK offshore wind resource. “The theoretical resource from offshore wind turbines in UK waters is approximately 2.2 TW of average (ie continuous output) of electricity.” http://www.claverton-energy.com/two-terawatts-average-power-output-the-uk-offshore-wind-resource.html

To put that in perspective, the entire planet currently consumes about 2.2 TW of electricity.

> We have to invest in nuclear now!

10+ years to build each nuke. How do you think throwing more money in to the nuke pit is going to help us? Germany have already demonstrated the net economic benefit of their renewable energy program and are now committed to 100% renewables. Even ‘nuclear utopia’, France, is now investing heavily in renewables.

Renewables are plummeting in costs as nukes continue to rise. Renewables can rapidly scale to meet demand, nukes cannot. It’s a no-brainer.

When the domestic energy supply industry was ‘liberated’ (and if you see Sid, tell him to tell you which tax haven he’s salted his dosh in), we were told that it would drive prices down because of ‘competition’, so that our bills would fall by comparison with under the nasty, inefficient, freedom-eroding, socialist system which operated before.

Now we’re being told that the market solution is the only tenable one because it pushes prices up so that people don’t use too much energy (you know, like pensioners still having to decide whether to ‘heat or eat’).

So which is it, marketeers: free-for-all or freeze-to-death?

john b@1:

“…we should raise benefits to the level where people can afford for that not to happen.”

And you can see that happening, can you? All the way from Oz?

When the domestic energy supply industry was ‘liberated’ (and if you see Sid, tell him to tell you which tax haven he’s salted his dosh in), we were told that it would drive prices down because of ‘competition’, so that our bills would fall by comparison with under the nasty, inefficient, freedom-eroding, socialist system which operated before.

Oh FFS, if consumers don’t bother to participate in the market of course there won’t be competition.

26. Luis Enrique

The Judge

that’s a fair question – before we starting worrying about climate change, lower energy prices were regarded as an unalloyed good thing.

Now we do worry about climate change, lower energy prices don’t look so good, but we still don’t want to waste money on inefficient energy provision.

so for example, if the cost to the consumer breaks down roughly to:

cost of fuels + operating costs of provider + profit

if privatization produced a sufficiently large decrease in operating costs, offsetting profit extraction*, then we could have all gained from greater efficiency in provision whilst still regarding higher energy prices drive by increasing cost of fuels, thereby justifying privatization in a world where the “right price” is a high one. I don’t happen to know whether the efficiency of the UK power sector has improved since privatization. I bet the research exists.

* actually, that’s not quite right because some profit is best seen as payments for capital inputs, not necessarily something that is “extracted” by shareholders reducing value for money to customers.

what non-market alternative do those who advocate it envisage to produce lower energy prices? I can’t imagine state-run utilities would be any more efficient, so what’s left – tax payer subsidies for cheap heating oil and gas? Paying people to burn more carbon?

27. Richard W

Consumers switching to get better deals is limited because the same dynamics are affecting all the energy suppliers. The era of cheap fossil fuel energy is over and it has been over for the last decade. Gas prices are closely related to the oil price and global oil production has been at best flat for 5 years. Global oil extraction costs have tripled over the last decade because the new fields are smaller and more costly to extract the oil.

Last week Mr Bernanke made clear that the Fed. was not going to engage in anymore easing of monetary policy for the foreseeable future and the oil price remained firm. Strongly suggesting that the high oil price is a supply and demand story and very little to do with U.S. monetary policy. The following day the OPEC meeting ended in chaotic scenes with Saudi Arabia pledging to increase output against the wishes of others who do not have any spare capacity. The oil price immediately rose $2 and has risen everyday since the meeting. Why would the oil price rise if participants believed that there was any spare capacity? The world really looks like it is at its peak supply and prices will only rise from here unless there is demand destruction through efficiency.

Unfortunately for the sake of emissions the world is turning to coal.

http://gregor.us/coal/the-world-turns-to-coal/

Using energy more efficiently is the way to combat rising costs. Even if we can get all/most/more of our energy from renewables, I can’t see it being cheap energy. Fossil fuels have an energy density that renewables being more energy dispersed will be unlikely to match. Moreover, there is somewhat of a diseconomy of scale with renewables. The best and most productive sites will be taken first and as the industry gets larger the later sites will be extracting less energy. Renewable costs will fall through innovation etc as the industry grows, but there is a limit to how cheaply RE will be able to deliver energy. We are just going to have to adapt to paying more for energy.

I found switching supplier easy. I moved from Scottish & Southern, who are tossers, to Ecotricity for green gas and electricity through a simple form on their website. Have other people had problems with other suppliers?

In an ideal world going green would be as simple as my experience. I am fed up with greening being a sort of bourgeois accessory or symbol of new-age purity to boast about.

29. Planeshift

Off topic bit first:

“future face of Go Compare?”

They have a bit on the form asking where people have heard of them – are you kidding me?

Right then (interest declared – been working in the industry):

The main issue on the consumer side is largely to do with complexity of pricing – as one of the senior management of Swalec put it to me:

“It’s a strange market, I’m selling a product to the consumer that I’ve no idea how much it cost to produce, at a price the consumer has no idea how much he is paying”

The point is that there are so many tarrifs and pricing schemes, and the comparison sites aren’t that sophisticated yet, that its a minefield for the consumer who doesn’t know the industry. (Having said that, its usually the case that switching to an online direct debit tarrif is the best thing to do). The main problem is thus the structure of the market. On the regulatory side, there is certainly far greater scope for improving price transparency, and making it easier to switch – including clamping down on aggressive sales tactics against people who switch. Virtually everyone from NEA and Consumer focus to the industry itself agrees on this.

However this alone is likely to be a case of sticking plasters on tumours. The major factors behind price rises are the scarcity (i.e. the market reflects this). Tackling this requires major new investments in energy supply, legislating to include the cost of carbon in pricing (so we account for externalities and ensure a level playing field for different forms of power), and changing planning laws to make this investment happen, and facilitate micro-generation.

There also needs to be massive investments in housing, both in terms of insulation and in replacing older properties with new design builds. There are housing designs now made that – in experiments – are now so energy efficient that annual bills are estimated around £60 (at today’s prices). this compares to the average bill of £1,250. If this technology gets expanded (and it will get even better as innovation increases) and adopted in a massive new build of social housing we’ll solve fuel poverty and reduce emissions at the same time.

Even for the current housing stock, there is lots that can be done. However the private rented sector tends not to do this as landlords have no incentive to do so, and tenants think they won’t be allowed to do this. So clearly there is a role for legislation here too. Also it might be an idea to extend eligibility for grants for insulation under the various schemes, as the investment also benefits future residents.

In short, lots of stuff can be done.

“Or, the fact that it’s a real pain to switch?”

Rubbish, who keeps spouting this myth? Last night I switched from Scottish Power to a fixed price until 2014 tariff with EDF in under 10 minutes. Market is working fine for me.

31. Charlieman

@29. Planeshift: “(Having said that, its usually the case that switching to an online direct debit tarrif is the best thing to do). The main problem is thus the structure of the market. On the regulatory side, there is certainly far greater scope for improving price transparency, and making it easier to switch – including clamping down on aggressive sales tactics against people who switch.”

Thanks for that. My experience is that paragraph one is economically true for my household whilst I despise the idea.

My interpretation of price transparency would be somewhere about: purchase cost to provider + internal managerial cost + transmission cost + markup = bill.

Another intransparency is upfront payment. If you pay upfront, the energy supplier has a bit of your money to invest in futures. I just have this feeling that any win from the futures goes into company profit and any loss goes on my next bill.

pensioners still having to decide whether to ‘heat or eat’

And you can provide evidence that this is an actual thing, rather than the behaviour of a few irrational paranoid individuals hyped up by the media?

Given current energy costs, food costs and the level of the state pension, there’s no reason why anyone should have to make this choice.

Unless they live in an enormous mansion without individual thermostats on the radiators in the guest rooms, I suppose (echoes of the land value tax strawmen…)

Or perhaps – although I’m still sceptical – if they have a scumbag private landlord who refuses to insulate their home adequately. As Planeshift says, the government should do something about this problem, but cutting energy costs would be an insane way to deal with it.

33. Planeshift

“And you can provide evidence that this is an actual thing, rather than the behaviour of a few irrational paranoid individuals hyped up by the media?”

Sorry John, there’s more than enough evidence of this happening. Try the following:

Adams, l. and West, S, (2006) Just above the breadline; living on a low income in later life.
London, Age Concern

Gibbons, D. and Singler, R. Cold Comfort: a review of coping strategies employed by households in fuel poverty, Energywatch 2008

Mummery, H. and Reily, H. Cutting back, cutting down and cutting off, Consumer Focus 2010,

O?Neil, T., Jinks, C. and Squire, A. Heating is more important than food; older women?s perceptions of fuel poverty, Journal of Housing for the Elderly 20(3) 2006

Hi guys, don’t have time to read all of the comments now, but a couple of things,

one, on fuel prices, I’ve written on Lib Con about this before, and at greater length here: http://brightgreenscotland.org/index.php/2011/03/how-should-greens-deal-with-rising-petrol-prices/

Adam – Sunny changed the header to the piece. I don’t want to fix the energy market, I want him to, in the short term, fix prices and, in the long term, nationalise… Similarly, I did make reference to Huhne’s plans in the original. Sure, they are a good thing given the market. But they won’t solve the problems.

Thanks,

Adam

Huhne’s comments were ridiculous. “Punishing” a company by switching to another is pointless when they are all hiking prices to ridiculous heights. You just reward another profit-grubber simply for having a different name. It’s the system that is wrong. Renationalise essential amenities. Now.

36. DevonChap

I love the title of this article. To “fix” a market is to rig it. Not what the author intended (I hope).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing

Ta, Planeshift – will read the papers when I’m at uni tomorrow and have access to Jstore. I note that several are from 2006, when energy prices were low, and that the final one is about ‘perceptions’ rather than reality.

38. Planeshift

Yeah John, but perceptions are important (also the title of that article is misleading) in how people behave. It is fairly easy to switch suppliers for example, but both energy companies and consumer groups have spent millions trying to persuade people that switching really doesn’t mean having your house re-wired. Yet switching levels are still low, particularly in some regions.

Also John, there are some other studies on behavior that I couldn’t access when I worked on some research on the issue. (paywalls and limited budgets blah blah). So feel free to explore journals for other studies and send me some ones that are good 😉

John b, you are obviously burning the hair growing on the palms of your hands to subsidize your energy consumption if you think current energy prices are reasonable and that energy companies are doing a ‘decent job’. The judge is absolutely on the money with his comments alluding to mass collusion within the energy industry. What other companies can get away with close to two double-figure price rises within a twelve month period even with the current energy situation. I doubt very much that the number of people that have never swapped is as high as 60% , just more mis-information farmed out by companies attempting to justify their greed. All you people who believe the standard ‘wholesale price hike’ toss-off we get every year are first class berks with blinkers on and probably get some kind of twisted pleasure from having the chief exec of British Gas reaching into your pants and squeezing your plums 18% harder than he did last year!


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Chris Huhne should admit the energy market has failed and fix it http://bit.ly/lXWQUV

  2. Watching You

    Chris Huhne should admit the energy market has failed and fix it http://bit.ly/lXWQUV

  3. Dr. Ben Wright

    Chris Huhne Should Admit the Energy Market Has Failed and Fix It: http://goo.gl/mKMMX

  4. Shreck

    Chris Huhne should admit the energy market has failed and fix it http://t.co/xX76JJL

  5. Ben Wood

    Great article on why the UK energy market is a failure and a liberal paradox http://t.co/uRlQcoR





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